(Mineola, NY) – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran joined Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, District Attorney Madeline Singas and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Gregory May at Mineola High School to announce increased efforts to identify unregistered limousines and for-hire vehicles operating during prom season. The enforcement will include safety checks that will be conducted by members of the County’s Consumer Affairs Department including the Taxi & Limousine Commission and New York State Department of Transportation inspectors.
For a first offense, the penalty for an unregistered vehicle is $1,500.00. During last year’s prom season, the County’s Consumer Affairs Department issued a total of 122 violations for taxi and limousines at popular prom venues throughout Nassau County. This year, to date, the County issued 20 notices across four proms for a variety of violations.
“We are taking action, to help ensure our young people are being taken to and from their prom by licensed, safe drivers,” said County Executive Curran. “Our investigators from the Department of Consumer Affairs will be working as a team with investigators from the New York State Department of Transportation [NYSDOT] to stop drivers to make sure they are abiding by County regulations. We urge parents to be proactive and inquire where their child’s limo is coming from. Many vehicles are outsourced from out-of-state and may not pass a NYS safety inspection. Ask if the driver is licensed and insured with a clean driving record.”
The Police Commissioner discussed intensified patrols, check points and reminded residents of the Social Host Law, that prohibits serving alcohol to minors in your home – often occurring throughout prom and graduation season.“During prom season it is very important for our young adults to understand that they can have a great time during their prom without using drugs or alcohol. We have seen all too often that automobile accidents increase during this time of year due to drivers being impaired and due to driver distraction,” said Police Commissioner Ryder. “Our Police Officers will be out in force to protect all of our residents by monitoring traffic conditions. Lastly, parents need to also understand that when they have parties that take place at their residence, they are responsible for all of the young adults’ wellbeing. I wish all of our students and their parents a wonderful prom season.”
“Bad things can happen to good kids because they made a poor choice or didn’t plan properly,” District Attorney Singas said. “Prom night tragedies are easily preventable. Every time someone makes the reckless decision to drive drunk or drugged, they’re putting the lives of everyone on the road in danger. Impaired driving is dangerous to the driver and everyone in the driver’s path. It won’t be tolerated in Nassau County.”
“Parents should check the vehicle they’ve hired for proper registration, inspection, and that the driver has the appropriate credentials. Depending on the severity of infractions found, your children’s evenings may be delayed or cancelled if a vehicle must be put out-of-service. Remember: a ride in a limo can be fun, but tell your kids to buckle up,” said Consumer Affairs Commissioner Gregory May.
Stressing the dangers of and consequences of underaged drinking and driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, County Officials were joined by:
“While I know our parents and students keep prom safety at the forefront of their minds, the district appreciates and supports any additional security enhancements to help ensure the safety and well-being of our students during prom season,” said Mineola Superintendent of Schools Michael P. Nagler, Ed.D. “The safety of our students is always our top priority and we stand united with the county executive and police commissioner’s efforts. We urge parents to continue to be involved and on high alert, as well as review prom safety protocols with their children.”
“We are urging everyone attending prom do their due diligence and abstain from alcohol and drugs,” said Curran. “And be forewarned - in Nassau County, we have zero tolerance for anyone getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Let’s work together to help Nassau’s young adults make the right choices and have a safe and memorable night.”